In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Health Linkage | Main | Thoughts from the Battleship Missouri »

April 17, 2009

Political Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* The wonders of globalization, cont.

* Is there any reason at all for the U.S. to keep playing a role in NATO? Some fun facts: "America accounts for more than half of the world’s defense expenditures. Iran’s defense budget is less than one percent of ours. The defense budgets of Russia and China are no more than a tenth of ours."

* The Congressional Budget Office's estimate of how much deficit spending Obama has pledged us to do over the next decade: $9.3 trillion.

* The talk about secession is growing more public with every passing day.

* Has Wilhelm Ropke's moment come? Forgive a little gloating: You've been reading about Ropke for years at 2Blowhards. Two excellent intros to Ropke and his thought: here and here. Matthew Redard's blog is heavily influenced by Ropke.

* Quote for the day comes from Roger Scruton:

I don't know whether anything that economists say is true. For almost all of them argue as though it were not human beings who are the subject of their discipline, but "profit maximizers," acting according to the principles of cost and benefit, and never troubling to make the distinction between real and unreal products, between right and wrong ways of behaving, and between responsible and irresponsible attitudes to future generations.

* Read an interview with the brilliant and provocative Scruton.



posted by Michael at April 17, 2009


It's better to say "quotation of the day." "Quote" actually is a verb.

Posted by: Evan McLaren on April 17, 2009 2:06 PM

Evan -- I know what you mean. I'm always struck by how awkward the choice is. "Quotation" seems 'way to formal for my purposes in these postings, but "quote" seems so informal it's wrong. Still, and only because I like keeping things friendly around here, I opt for the informal usage.

Here's one online dictinary's look at the question:

"People have been using the noun quote as a truncation of quotation for over 100 years, and its use in less formal contexts is widespread today. Language critics have objected to this usage, however, as unduly journalistic or breezy. As such, it is best avoided in more formal situations."

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 17, 2009 2:46 PM

"The problem came to light last year as those homeowners began commiserating on the Internet about rotten-egg smells in their houses and rashes of nosebleeds and other ailments. At the same time, exasperated air-conditioner repairmen began complaining to builders about copper-coil corrosion in newly built houses. The air-conditioning companies concluded it was caused by high levels of airborne sulfur and moldy toxins. Wires in outlets, appliances and lamps were going bad too, as was wood."

Is Hell in China or have the Chinese been mining in Hell? Personally, I think these houses should just be torn down. I wonder if there's some kind of insurance clause that would cover this. And of course it's just going to be another one of those Caveat Emptor issues like trying to discover if the house you're about to buy has been flooded before & then patched up with some nifty drywall from China. I know there's a lot of evil in the world but it strikes me that there's not much worse than having the walls of your house betray you.

I'm surprised some of our recent Chinese immigrants don't glow or at least set off geiger counters. Gotta be some way to decontaminate that place. Sheesh!

Posted by: lynx on April 17, 2009 3:46 PM

One thing Scruton fails to account for is that our quality of life wouldn't be to its elevated state if we didn't have a credit mechanism and interest rates. We're a lot better off, regardless of the current downturn, with that credit mechanism.

Posted by: Chuck on April 17, 2009 11:24 PM

I probably could think of other instances in which I take your approach of adopting the more familiar, comfortable usage because the formally correct one sounds too stiff. For some reason "quotations" never bothered me like that.

Posted by: Evan McLaren on April 18, 2009 12:07 AM

I say hell yes, let Texas secede. Then build the border fence and let it be taken back by Mexico. The rest of the U.S. will become that much more progressive.

Posted by: Steve W on April 18, 2009 11:17 AM

Argument for NATO:


Yes, being a superpower requires a big defense budget, believe it or not.

Posted by: Realist on April 19, 2009 10:38 AM

What does being a superpower get us?

I can't believe they put something as heavy, fragile, and cheap as drywall on a ship and took it across the Pacific.

I think the crazyist thing I ever saw from China was apple juice. All the logistics involved in moving freaking apple juice from the other side of the world. They have apple trees here!

Posted by: Bhh on April 19, 2009 7:46 PM

It's a bad, dangerous world out there. Lots of nations with nukes now, many filled to the brim with insane polygamy creating a Big-Man or Die mentality, winner take all, loser gets nothing.

Killing the infidel is the best way to become a big man, particularly when the infidel does not punish you.

Having lots of military capacity short of nuking half the Muslim world into radioactive dust is to my mind the best course of action for Target #1.

Or we could rely on unicorns and rainbows.

Posted by: whiskey on April 20, 2009 3:10 AM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?